My Sweet Kazoku!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WOW what a week! Some weeks I will try to keep a running post it note of everything I want to tell you... I know I'll never have time but I want you to know that the work is WONDERFUL!
Thank you so much for all of your support and letters friends and fam! Wow, I feel so blessed of the Lord to have been given such wonderful friends and family. You are all SO SWEET, thank you for writing! I may not be able to write everyone back individually (as we can only write on Pdays and they are sooooooo busy!)... but KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU and you are so appreciated in my life!
This week was so amazing. I got a little bit down in the middle of the week. I think the Lord gives us hard things and really wonderful things, and I am so very grateful that we have both! The past few days have just been WONDERFUL for me personally--I know why I am on a mission, and who I represent. Things have just changed for me now. The Lord is helping and honing my character flaws. He is shaping me into something miraculous... how grateful I am for His work on me! He truly helped heal my soul this week. I have never known dependence like this. I know through experience that the Lord helps us in EVERY way: physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially--and we are dependent on Him for it all. Heavenly Father truly loves us! I have never felt the depth of emotions I have felt at the MTC. I know with assurity that the Lord is with me and watching over me. I wish I could give you a window into my heart, that I could just show you how much He is there for me. He is there, always. I am amazed at Heavenly Father's love and consistency. I am so very grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. How I love Him! He is the message of our Gospel--that through Him, we can return home to our Father in Heaven. Its GLORIOUS!!!!
Last night we taught a class discussion to one of our teachers (a sub). It was so interesting! The Spirit was definitely there even though it was a little scattered with 6 companionships in our district! We picked up a new investigator to practice with this week (another one of our teachers!), and it is so fun. The language is flowing so much more smoothly. We stopped taking in our books to class this week. Ahhhhhh! Sometimes we bring a few notes and sometimes we don't. The Spirit truly works with us as we pray before each lesson to have charity and to discern the needs of our "investigators." It is so wonderful to feel these feelings for those we teach. It is different when we walk in and see our teachers there to have us teach them. The Lord loves His children, and He is anxious to edify all of them. This work is inspired! THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!
I love the MTC!!!!! I feel like I used to worry so much about the future, about the present, even the past--and I testify that the Savior's Atonement can help little thing we ever worry about. I loved finding the scripture again this week in 3 Nephi 17:7... Our Savior and Redeemer is so anxious to heal "any manner of afflictions." I feel peace in a way I never have before! I know that the Lord will care for my tomorrows, and I get to rejoice in THIS day. It is such a privilege to be a missionary.
We had Elder Kevin R. Duncan and his wife speak to us this week, it was so humbling and so good for me!! He talked about JOY and the privilege of being a missionary. They talked about how missions change missionaries, and about charity... and trusting in the Lord! I know that we cannot learn this language without Him, and I am continually amazed that if I dedicate my specified Gospel study as suggested, I do not fall behind. The spirit quickens us, and Heavenly Father is so anxious for us to suceed! I think this week may have changed my whole mission, I truly can answer with Nephi of old, "I know in whom I have trusted."
What a joy this work is! What a privilege! There are people, millions, everywhere searching for the word of God. I am so grateful that I get to take His word to His children in Japan. I know that there are people HUNGRY for the Gospel there! I know in whom I have trusted, and I have no doubt that we can do it with Him. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" "They that be with us are more than they that be with them!" Oh how I rejoice in my God and King! I know my life never would have been the same without this mission experience. I know for assurity that this is His church and His work! I love the Plan of Salvation! How amazing is this work? I used to feel like it was true and I was watching it, but know I KNOW it is true--for I feel like I am IN it. I felt that this week, it is so hard to describe. But I can testify with assurity of God's love and His influence in our lives. If you are wondering if He is there, if you wonder why you face something--I testify to you that God loves you. He is watching over you and wants you to succeed. That we get to proclaim His gospel fills the pools of my heart with deep gratitude and joy!!
In other news... I sing in the shower, in the bathroom, sometimes (actually all of the time) I make very happy sounds when I read the scriptures - I CAN'T HELP IT!!! I love my district, we get FED from the Word of God with a devotional every week that is so uplifting... Elder Russell M. Nelson came last week, and it was so incredible when he walked in--we couldn't see him but the power of the priesthood fell over the audience and we all stood in a hush. Even before I saw him, I knew that there was power in that room. I testify he is a man of God! He spoke on the gathering of Israel and the Abrahamic Covenant, it was so wonderful and now I see things everywhere that point to them. Wow!
Mom and Dad, every once in a while I think about you coming to the MTC... the gym is great and they have healthy food options! (in the weight room gym you can even watch conference... Dad will feel right at home!) [we do weights once a week] I think about you frequently being here and getting ready for YOUR mission, I am so excited for you two!! I love telling people that you are getting ready to go. Thank you so much for raising me in the Gospel, I can't wait to see you again but I know that this is where I am supposed to be. I know that God called me to be here, and that He has a plan. Oh, isn't the Gospel wonderful? I think like Alma, it sometimes exceeds my strength or fills me so much with joy that I just scream a little bit. (maybe squeal is a better word. I just am so happy!) Don't worry, my companion and my district can still hear ...
The Church is true! I love this work! I pray you will be strengthened and that we all can treasure the gift of this work we have been given. Sweet is the work!
Anderson Shimai (loving Japanese!)